The Underground Librarian

What cats do before meeting curiosity sellers….

Writing: Obliged Request

Posted by Tespid on May 29, 2015

Ceres et non
Oh, Goddess of wheat,
not the Goddess of dawn and night by itself alone;
Prolong it and lengthen it, these days and these nights.
Tell Atlas to hold and Let these hours be.
Beseech we, bequeath thee,
All in time will remember she
Who came and reaped the fallows again.

Ceres et non
Daun et noctournis se
Extend it et long
’til harvest head breaks the length of day.
Under a reaping moon, the thresher tends not to seek the grain;
because Luna makes more fruit than cereal under the sun.

My sweet und Swedish fish, poppy faced from blistering heat,
takes the month to break the meat of the ground
no matter how long the weekes it takes.
My crimson- blushed sweet, rashed from exhaustion. With him, I now stay within the fields the length of these days. I begged to let us work side by side, but he would only have it this way:
As he rests, I take the time to sow his picks for longevity. I pluck from the seeds best, all bright colored jellyfish– sweet cherry C to the taste. He chews me out for the length of this heat that blisters in his chest.
He finds solace by laying down on me chest to breast, breast to breast.
His weight to my bone like crushing oregano leaves pressing out the oil.
His weight to my bone, like crushing of African violets for pressing in pages of my illicit diaries.
Pressings rise like leavened latkes fresh made from sweet potatoes and shallots. Sprinkled and dusted with molasses leavings of turbinado sugar. His amiable leavings on the flats and folds of what lays below the curved and crevices of breast-to-breast. He flavors himself with sweet orange blossoms, seeds, flesh, and meats. Citrus for sinusitis when winter’s cold makes peace upon our home; in him I seek a remedy.
Breast to breast,
Breast to robin-red
In the vegetable garden, he presses his receding hairline to my public bone.
The tomatoes turn round, curved, and plumper.
The peas rise from the ground, reaching up to tie and create a stronger vine.
The coureggettes are hollowed out by the grackle that lives in the pine tree.
Still he must leave and go away to another box far from where he was born and first lay in that bed with some woman. Girl platted with grey haired flesh that he never ever, never ever names.
Well, at least not in front of me.
I have learned not to ask after that which is denied, defamed, and decried before I know.
Before I have an inclination or desire to ask after too know how not to ask after.
My voice cries fowl each time he takes to the plow once kissing me on the mouth with an exploring scout tongue. Maybe he wants me to go after him. Wrap left arm ‘round, then the right. Clasp left hand; clasp right ‘round the little pile of free flesh above his former attachment to his mother. His belly button is an “inny”. The doctors knew right and quick how to cut off the bloodied shit,
Then mold my finger between cleft and pubis mons, as the plow slows down and I press my lips to his feigned open mouth yawn.
©N.C. Constantine April 2008 All Rights Reserved

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Writing: Cold Porridge, As Requested

Posted by Tespid on May 29, 2015


My blessed blessed,
Come to me tonight
with larkspur trailing in your hair
and the song that dwells in the caverns of your anchored breast.
Let us reap the pleasures of
conversation and glimpse the wan flesh of
an earlobe, and the drawn line circling your wrist.


Of the speech on my lips
is the prayer of anger gone?
Voices bellow in low toned melody from minarets
That seem laden with sand and silt from the rivers
and dungeon pits across the Southern banks.


I repent for days of joy.
I repent for the eye that is fooled.
I repent for respect falsely contributed.
I bow to that which is greater.
I forsake that which grieves.
I pass on so that none may forget.
I live so that our days may be done.

Even if he hates, forsakes, and does not live
in grace,
you must take up for him.
Even as the gods finally forsake him, as they
leaven anger, spite, and drool committing to their own devices.
Cursed be flesh upon flesh upon lie upon depressed mind.
Even then you must aid and forgive him.


Let my shadow follow you son till the journey night breaks.
Let nothing foul,
Let no carrion fall in our wake
Let my shadow fall upon you son
And let no buzzard mistake you for slake.


We implore the great god of mysteries
Who is a wellspring font buried below water rock hewn pools and slate.
W beseech this one wish:
That we may enter the hearts of men
To find those challenged at heart
and striving in weakness to blood, bone, and temple honed,
Searching for kindness
in raw form, cherishing all divine and pleasing to your senses.
Let us find in these hearts of men, women, child, and being;
Honor, faith, and courage imbedded in and of the flesh.


Considering the life of a flasher: one must question his motivation. One must try to see his point of view. For if there is that much eroticism in the world, shouldn’t we all take part?


At night the drum beat low and the only other man slept in shifts. Then Bartholomew would prattle on about the beauty of Africa, the women, the lush greenery, and the lands


Open’s a house
Two’s a mouse
Three’s a “How do you do?”
4s a mole
5 ever more
when owned what do you do?

One’s a house
Twos a mouse
3s a “how do you do?”
5s heaven then
6 Please and thank you

1s a house
2s a mouse
3s heaven sent
If we go to Devonshire all our money’s spent,
Rolling on the ground, making angels as we go.
Getting crazy stares from traveller’s shouting,
“You’re supposed to do that in snow!”


pure and driven clean people
having no idea of fiendish deeds
introducing ideas that “make them go bad”.
Makes me consider what would cause a man to go mad?

Clean cloth and pepper
What’d you do to depress’er
White sheet and braun
What ever do go wrong
How did she think life would start
With still born hand and defeated heart?


My blessed blessed,
May you only see me
By moonlight gaze eened out between
Mist and fog on low land
Next to soft petalled peonies
And bruised lemon grass

My blessed blessed come to me
Under rows of jasmine
Aromatic of almond oiled skin
Let my eyes fall upon your bare brow
Following the curve
Of your nose down to those lips
And let me think
Thrice reconsider but not pursue.
Still not stare, for even
In those thoughts
I bring disgrace upon both our souls
For that kiss without touch ever leads the
Most holy astray into follies
Of carnal flesh.

What my blessed
Can I endure?
This passage of rights.
This new movement.
It takes all of me
and includes my love for you.
Shall I be found for you, my dearest and only?
We shall


Note: These are vignettes building toward pages with illustrations. I have more writing to edited to show to finish out the saved file. Whoever you are, thanks for the swift kick in the arse to get going. It been far to long. Still I’m convicted to cart it all around even to the grave till I sit down and get to editing for style and grammar. Dare I say what I have posted needs at least two more passed under the red pen. Glad to share though. Sincere Thanks.

Note #2:Inspiration for this verbal pursuit stems from a fascination with the Middle Ages and the Crusades.

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Writing: Cold Porridge

Posted by Tespid on May 28, 2015

On the eve of the fall,
my former Lord peeks out from under the plastic shelter’s doors.
Midst the
tear gas and thick fog,
the marble pillars that surround
are not much protection at all.

My ignorance tells
Athena’s control at the Parthenon
holds only memories of Greece
long gone.
Might and logic once did reign
Forgetting not the coffers which have gone empty again.
On the eve of autumn’s crest,
they say Poland’s forecast is next.
Then we’ll know what happens
to all the rest.

Resistance and concert;
All a struggle for better than just desserts.
Revenge for water is blinded and a thought gone rancid and astray.
Pantry’s gone empty;
even the hallway is cold.
These places I soon used to haunt.
These places I soon used to calm home.

Now my bed is a sturdy rock in the ground.
On the eve of the fall
I can’t sleep with the gales break howl.
On the eve of the fall,
I too peek between the pillows and balustrades
wondering who is going to fee and feed us tonight.

For a day I forgot the wind
Till I was blown in a direction without much change.
For more than an hour, more than a day, more than a year
Not it’s been come this coveted Sabbath Day.

Today I forgot the howl
and heeded to sail in motionless tides.
Milling in quaint tight circles, nay spirals always
Getting back to myself, always getting nowhere.
Maybe I am more than a dragless exhale.
Maybe I am as far as clouds reach
Into the landscape on Springs third rainy day.

~NCC 10/2014

Note: Thinking of Greece on the verge of economic decline.

What follows is as requested..Posted edited. All written before 1995.


My love,
Come to me tonight
With flowers in your hair
And song in your heart
Reap the pleasure of
Conversation and the glimpse
Of an earlobe, a flash of wrist

The prayer on my lips
Is the prayer of anger gone?
Voices ring out from minarets
Laden with sand and silt from the rivers and dungeon pits

I repent for the days of joy
I repent for the eye that is fooled
I repent for respect falsely contributed
I bow to that which is greater
I forsake that which grieves
I pass on so that none may forget
I live so that our days may be done.

Even if he hates, forsakes, does not live
In grace
You must take up for him
Even if the gods forsake him, finally
Leavening anger, spite, and drool to its own devices
Cursed upon flesh upon flesh upon lie upon depressed mental state
Even then you must aid and forgive him

Let my shadow follow you my son
Let nothing foul
Let no carrion fall in my wake
Let my shadow fall upon you son
And let no buzzard mistake you for slake

We implore the great god of mysteries
Deep and profound
Grant us this one wish
That we may go into the hearts of men
And find those who arte challenged at heart
, striving in what is weak. Kindness
in its raw form, cherishing all which is
divine and pleasing to your senses
Let us find in these hearts of men, women, child, and being
Honor , faith, courage imbedded in and of the flesh.

The life of a flasher.. one must question his motivation .. One must try to see his point of view. For if there is that much eroticism in the world, shouldn’t we all take part?

At night when the drums beat low and the only man slept in shifts. Then Bartholomew would prattle on about the beauty of Africa, the women, the lush greenery, the lands wonderous. We would take everything we could back home.

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Looking for a Boardless Summer

Posted by Tespid on May 18, 2015

I got caught. Finally. Someone played a trump as I played out what I remember of one of my favorite archetypes. Honesty? It had gotten so bad when I take on the character, its more than a few minutes to work back to my own identity. Sometimes I can not get the point across unless I follow up with a myth, fairytale, fable, or parable. Keeping all that in my head for “just in case” illustration is difficult sometimes. I am lonely for my Irish Mythology Reader that I sold back to Half Price Books long ago. I’ve been settling for Aesop’s Fables illustrated by a bevy of illustrators. I read, read, and imprinted what I could on the inside of my frontal lobe, but sometimes it is to no avail. Though when the teaching moments happen, my recall steps in and voila ethics in five minutes or less. The days I get really savvy. Like this past weekend, it is fun regaling more than the Round Table. The storytelling is beyond the words, it is getting to the challenge, the venture, the mission afterwords.

So, last night I did not hurry over to the computer. I was lulled into sleep by the quiet hum of the air conditioning. The stories were over and the neighborhood quieted down. At least one adult picked up my challenge to teach the old way by voice and acting. Not just to kids, but to each other as well. In the dark I heard someones agree. Maybe this summer will be a bit different from electronic games and sleeping late for some.

The druthers comes down to taking the opportunity to illustrate the moment in recounting legends, acting out characters and archetypes, even singing. Even if you are talking to yourself on the corner of Main or Ervay, take the moment to realize the power of spoken word especially when it is grounded in the ancients. I’ve never seen “Game of Thrones”, but someone mention that I might take some inspiration from it. The gist is almost like ComiCon on a large scale, but it is tainted like convention for the wise and learned who acknowledge there is work to be done. I had the name for the game last night and earlier today, but it has slipped from my mind. When it comes back, I’ll let you know.

So, me for part of the summer, I’ll be working on memorizing legends, parables, koans and such to see what I can do for the ethics components of my religious eduction. I’m a bit eclectic and can not stand to be too far away from Christ. Still I love to see the stem of ancient lessons in modern day. The dignity of man is still buried somewhere out there to be unearth, polish and represented. Besides, if most of the work has been done, there is no need for me to reinvent the work. Besides that, I must put a little more effort into reading the catechism. I’ve made head way in the past, but for personal discipline I seem back in the ways of studying world culture and world religions. I am patient and for now I have time.

Meanwhile, game time. I have no rules except please have some understanding of the tale your applying to whatever situation. Timing is everything and there are no solicitations. This is all on the up and up. Also don’t feel like you have to depend on Western cultures to be your fount of inspiration. Use what ever drove you to discovery of those tales and share. In twos or more it sounds like it would lead to a solid improve with at least one core concept to work from. This scenario may be more of a learning situation for participants than for an audience. Remember and lose yourself, but take the opportunity to embody the archetype, God/dess, famous individual you choose. The act out is a journey is for all to be involved and be changed.

As I get more ideas, I’ll be posting.



P.S. I’m back.

For the sake of hoping and celebrating that all forms of wisdom will never leave us, let’s call this game “Eternals”.

Meanwhile back to power napping before dinner wile the main dish cooks.

Roasted chicken over mixed salad greens with balsamic vinagrette.

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Screenshots: Workbooks

Posted by Tespid on May 13, 2015

  • Just the facts, ma’am

    Pine River TimesMay 7, 2015
    For some students, the Junior Police Academy program at Bayfield Middle … work through two or three chapters of the JPA workbook every week, and for … One aspect of police work he’s tried to highlight is that officers spend …
  • IN COURT: Man escapes ban despite being twice the drink-drive

    Sutton Coldfield ObserverApr 30, 2015
    … and must participate in Intergrated Domestic Abuse Workbook for 60 days. … now participate in any activity as required by a responsible officer up to a … admitting assaulting a police constable in the execution of his duty.
  • No Se Habla

    Willamette WeekMar 4, 2015
    Lolenzo Poe, chief equity officer at PPS, says the district made a … translate many of the concepts in the training session’s 76-page workbook.
  • Georgia Earning a Name for Juvenile Justice in a New Way

    Juvenile Justice Information ExchangeJan 18, 2015
    “These youth-serving systems must be working together,” said the Action Corps’ John Tuell, who co-wrote a technical assistance workbook to …

    ‘How to Be a Better Cop’ Reading List – POLICE Magazine…/the-how-to-be-a-better-cop-reading-list.aspx

    Sep 29, 2009 – Yeah, I can just picture macho cops lining up to buy this staple at their book store, you bet. But there is a reason why the book is one of the all …

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Primer XV: Underage drug and alcohol abuse

Posted by Tespid on May 13, 2015

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Cooking: As Requested: The Galette Test (Note Added)

Posted by Tespid on May 12, 2015

Kitchen: Pastied Pastry Cook
Type: Marital
Status: A Pure Conundrum till the crust issue I solved. Meanwhile I have two attempts under my belt with different crust recipes each time.
Nomen: Raspberry or Blackberry Cream Cheese Galette

Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit
¼ cup of organic rose petals
1/8 cup of Italian oregano
½ large lemon, juice
Place the petals and oregano leaves in a ceramic or glass bowl. Cover with water and lemon juice. Stir and let sit for 15-45 minutes. Drain and place on a parchment lined pan. Place in the oven at 170 degree farenheit for 30 minutes. Remove and test for fragrance. Turn oven up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 cup of butter
3 cups of pastry or all-purpose flour
Pinch on Kosher salt
½- ¾ cups of ice water
2 Tablespoon of lemon zest
2 Tablespoons of sugar
Pulse together in a food processor everything but the water. Pulse to a grainy consistency. Place in a ceramic bowl. Add one tablespoon of water at a time and stir. When the dough begins to pull away from the sides (roughly after 4-5 tablespoons) turn out on a floured surface and form a ball. Place the dough back in the ceramic bowl and chill.

8 ounces of cream cheese
¼ cup of sour cream
2 egg whites beaten to soft peaks
¾ cup of granulated sugar
Reserved rose petals and oregano leaves
½ teaspoon thyme
Blend all ingredients except the egg whites. Fold them into the cream cheese mixture last. Cover and set aside with a ¼ cup measurement to wait for assembly.

3 boxes of raspberries or blackberries (If this is not enough fill in with sliced pears reserved separately.)
¾ cup of sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 teaspoons of cornstarch
Toss all ingredients gently in a ceramic bowl.

Prepare two cookie pans by lining them with parchment. Take the dough for the refrigerator and place on a floured surface. Divide evenly into eight parts with a pastry cutter. Roll out into an 6-8 inch circle. Set a ¼ cup of the cream cheese blend in the center. Top that with a ¼ cup of the berry mixture. Fold one side of the pastry over toward the middle. Use a pastry brush and the cold water to brush each subsequent pastry section so it will adhere to the core when baking. Using the pastry cutter lift the pastry to a section of the parchment. Continue with assembly filling four to a pan. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush each pastry with egg white. Sprinkle with sugar afterwards. Return to the over for 10-15 more minutes. At least till the top browns. Remove for the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the pan and then 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Be careful not to move too soon otherwise the pastry shell may brake. Package in a quart sized plastic bag and chill for 24 hours. Then feast!

Note: The pastry shell is a bit chewy. I may recommend cooking longer by 15 minutes, but I don’t recommend drying out the core. After I finish off the batch I made last weekend, I’ll be after another pie crust recipe. Just found it, in fact, after turning the page in my notebook.

Here goes:
2 cups of flour (plain)
1 teaspoon of salt
2/3 and 2 Tablespoons of shortening or 2/3 cup of lard
4-5 Tablespoons of cold water
I wonder if I screwed up in transposing the recipe I used for the body of the recipe. This one is worth a try. Also the herbs and the fruits are combined to the sake of medicinal application. One of which is to produce an antiseptic to clear the digestive tract. Thyme is known to repair microtears in capillaries. If you are interested I’ll post the low down herbal wise. I eat one a day since I started making this recipe. I have had no digestive problems. On the contrary, the pastry including the increase in water, vegetables, and fruits in my diet have made a healthy difference in everything. Each pastry is enough for two people, so be patient and wait for the next day. Remember: a taste of a cook versus a witch is if they will eat the fruit of their own hands.
1st bake was April 20, 2015.
2nd bake was circa May 8, 2015.
I’ll be putting some in the freezer. I think that is. I’m honing in on my birthday cake which is a lemon cake, lemon butter cream frosting, and a lemon curd center. I’ve got the lemons now and I’m in the mood for baking. Save my hips the trouble till next month though, when it will count twice over.
Lastly, feel free to experiment with what I’ve given you. A good cook will know when I’ve taken a wrong turn and correct themselves. Enjoy!
Your humble cookie companion,
Pastied Pastry Chef

**** forgot something that could help with the over all presentation and taste of the galette. Make extra sugar fruit, but throw in a strawberry or ten of them. Maybe a few other fruits, but keep to the color scheme for what you made either raspberry or blackberry. The overall appearance and taste will be overwhelming and addictive. Though remember, one a day. Even if you supplement other fruit like I did on this last bake with D’Anjou pears. They cooked soft but maintained a bit of a crisp edge. I like food that fights back sometimes. It make the snack journey more fun.

Now on to all little more pressing ideas; I have to tell you I’m a bit devout when it comes to herbalism and cooking. I’m not quite that heavy handed when cross referencing herbs for culinary and magical applications. Overall I prefer proving a harmony between the two and confirming medical stability in the recipes. I have flushed out everything yet, meaning written up a competent note to the wise for this recipe, but I will. Meanwhile here are some actions the herbs in this recipe take on the body. Grab you dictionary and here we go: antiseptic, antifungal, omthelmentic, expectorant, carminative, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, and astringent. Between the oregano, thyme, roses, and the berries a flushing and repair happens to the respiratory and digestive systems. From what I divulged from my Medical Herbalism book, the recipe treats infections in both systems. To pair it off i have been drinking tea and not increasing the milk component. Whatever phlegm, read mucous, is generated, it too is flushed out of the body.

I was brainstorming a bit a few days ago and wonder how a spell could be written to interpret the medical actions on the body. Temper it with humor and maybe one day I’ll write a foodie grimoire. So, I mused the decadence of red roses and raspberries to be suitable for a secret marriage and engender a promise of eternal lust no matter where the two may roam. This is from a week later of the raspberries. It must be something illicit and terribly discreet that bears frmo this union of herbs and elements in a pastry. The contrary lays in the black. A pinge of common sense and the fidelities of simple love. Small promises that in the throws of arguments, make the difference between presuming hate versus daily signs of support and care. It seems the food of simplicity and stability and a celebration survival in a close commitment that boils in emotion come later years.

Thus and so, I am off to climb other mountains.


Pastied Pastry Cook

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Dallas Journal: Cocaine, Fish Bait and Extra Catsup

Posted by Tespid on May 4, 2015

16 Maps Of Drug Flow Into The United States – Business …

Business Insider

Jul 8, 2012 – Despite growing momentum for drug policy reform in Latin America, continual carnage in Mexico and a U.S. government-sponsored study that …

Murder on the Pipelines: Drug Cartels Turn Texas Oil ……/texas-mexico-oil-pipelines-offer…
Bloomberg L.P.

Jul 23, 2014 – As criminal cartels convert south Texas rights of way into execution sites, the … kidnappings, and rapes are rising as pipeline networks expand and new … The pipes are generally underground, but the paths atop them can be …

Food Company Owners Charged in Drug Tunnel Case …

Sep 29, 1995 – Attacking a vast cocaine trafficking network that was allegedly … Reynoso Bros. in unfinished underground passage linking San Diego and Tijuana. … food products and transportation companies in Mexico, California, Texas, …

At The Border, The Drugs Go North And The Cash Goes ……/at-the-border-the-drugs-go-north-and-the-cash-goe…

Mar 20, 2014 – U.S. border officials are constantly on alert for drugs coming in from Mexico. … A border-crossing checkpoint in Laredo, Texas. … “In Culiacán, the underground economy and the normal economy are the same thing. … The OFAC charts indicate that money-laundering networks are usually family-based: A …

John Singleton’s LA Crack Cocaine Drama ‘Snowfall’ Gets …


3 days ago – FX Networks has ordered drama pilot “Snowfall” from filmmaker Singleton, who … and Trevor Engelson of Underground will also exec produce the project. …. Shot Outside Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Texas …


Information and forum about most recreational drugs.

Examples of Money Laundering Investigations – Fiscal Year …

Internal Revenue Service

Three Texas Men Sentenced for Money Laundering, Drug Charges ….. Williams, a large-scale heroin and cocaine distributor, and his network of operators. ….. to federal legislation requiring owners and operators of underground storage tanks …

Cocaine One Archive

an underground classic. SHIPPING … Dusty & ‘the boys':The CIA, the Narco-Republicans & 5.5 tons of cocaine … Pilot Denies Involvement in Crashed Drug Flight … The 9/11 Social Network … Congo Drug Smuggling Ring’s Big Texas Ties.

Cocaine bust Nashville’s largest in 7 years, police say

The Tennessean

Mar 20, 2015 – Police said this is the largest cocaine bust since January 2008. … of a Nashville cocaine distribution network,” police seized more than 100 pounds of … warrant in Dallas, Texas, Thursday and seized 11 kilograms of cocaine, …

The Rise And Fall Of Silk Road, The Dark Web’s Amazon

ValueWalkFeb 22, 2015
Growing up in Austin, Texas, in the 1990s, Ulbricht didn’t look or act like an … His SAT scores got him a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas, …. the alleged creator and operator of the Silk Road underground market, … the NSA pays phone and Internet companies to build their networks so that …

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Screenshots: United Kingdom

Posted by Tespid on April 26, 2015

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Pa. Journals: Cocaine: Cold Porridge History’s Remix and Carne Asada

Posted by Tespid on April 26, 2015

Your Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer – The Atlantic

The Atlantic

Apr 22, 2014 – Cocaine bags, ketamine vials, marijuana, and magic mushrooms (Roy Klabin) … Unnumbered professionals take part in this underground economy: bankers and …. Viktor whether he grows all the marijuana for his distribution network. ….. Pennsylvania, Prince Edward Island, Puerto Rico, Quebec, Quebec ..

Smack: Heroin and the American City – New Books In History…/eric-c-schneider-smack-heroin-and-the-ameri…

Jun 15, 2011 – View on AmazonWhen I arrived at college in the early 1980s, drugs were cool, music … The coolest of the cool drug-music bands was The Velvet Underground. … Heroin and the American City (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), the conjunction … Heroin stealthily spread through personal networks.

Charges Made in Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy | Peters ……/charges-made-in-cocaine-traffick…
Patch Media

Jul 2, 2012 – Thirteen Pennsylvania residents—including 10 from Washington … by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal drug laws, U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced Monday. … 3 Seven-Hour Rescue Frees Puppy from Underground Pipe … Patch Network · Terms of Use · Privacy Policy.

How to find Silk Road Drugs and be safe
Prison Legal News

Jun 15, 2010 – Police sent her on a sting to buy a large amount of drugs and a gun—Rachel …. every neighborhood gathering and informal social network. …. Interestingly, several states, including Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, have …

Drugs, Inc. – National Geographic Channel
  • National Geographic Channel

    For musicians who don’t make it, drugs are the easiest way to make a living. …. Legalized marijuana has spawned a violent underground trade that smuggles …

  • Philadelphia’s Black Mafia: A Social and Political History

    S.P. Griffin – 2006 – ‎Social Science

    Yeah, we have drugs, prostitution … but that’s the tradeoff” for peace.34 Mims was the … and the reputed overlord of part of the prison’s underground economy. … and was sent to the state prison at Camp Hill.39 He still maintained his networks, and … Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokesman Mike Lukens said of …

    Why You Should Care About the Silk Road Trial…

    Jan 21, 2015 – The owner of the underground drug market Silk Road was a … with a degree in Physics and went to the Pennsylvania State University for grad school … bounce data through the anonymity software’s network to hide its source.

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Screenshots 2015: Environmental Terrorism

Posted by Tespid on April 24, 2015

  • Whatever Happened to ‘EcoTerrorism‘?

    Pacific StandardJan 26, 2015
    The FBI once called radical environmental activists the “number one domestic terror threat,” but crimes of “ecoterrorism” are practically …
  • New Dawn for the NPT

    Foreign AffairsApr 22, 2015
    … Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism conference in Miami, Florida, …. recognizes the environmental and other impacts of nuclear testing.
  • Pets become destructive pests when carelessly released

    Toledo BladeApr 18, 2015
    Another much more chilling scenario connects the release to a case of ecoterrorism called “fish-bombing”. In the upside-down world we live in, …
  • Green Party candidate warns of race to save the environment

    Lichfield Live3 hours ago
    Green Party candidate warns of race to save the environment … way forward to tackle global problems such as climate change and terrorism.
  • This is what climate crisis really means

    Business Green (blog)33 minutes ago
    Sectarian tensions, corrupt governments, terrorism, the EU’s scaling … have collapsed due to their failure to adapt to environmental change.

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The Nightclub Sentinel: Screenshots for Trends 2014-2015

Posted by Tespid on April 24, 2015

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Pennsylvania: Journals- cold porridge warmed over

Posted by Tespid on April 19, 2015

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Activism: Hate and Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Groups Down As Activism Shifts To Cyberspace

Posted by Tespid on April 19, 2015

Hate and Antigovernment ‘Patriot’ Groups Down As Activism Shifts To Cyberspace

By Mark Potok on March 13, 2015 – 4:38 pm, Posted in Intelligence Report

yearinhate_0Editors’ Note: This essay was published in the Spring 2015 issue of the Intelligence Report.

The traditional, organized American radical right, which was swollen enormously by Barack Obama’s 2008 election and the near-simultaneous collapse of the economy, shrank significantly in 2014 for the second year in a row. The rapidly falling numbers of both hate and antigovernment “Patriot” groups seem to have been driven by a strengthening economy, continuing crackdowns by law enforcement, and an accelerated movement of radicals out of groups and into the anonymity, safety and far-reaching communicative power of the Internet.

The decline of the organized radical right came against a background of increasing losses for extremists. On the one hand, the advance of same-sex marriage, racial and religious diversity, and intolerance toward those with openly racist views has made life more difficult for those on the extreme right. On the other, the highly successful infiltration into the political mainstream of many radical-right ideas about Muslims, immigrants, black people and others have stolen much of the fire of the extremists, as more prominent figures co-opt these parts of their program.

There is also evidence that large numbers of extremists have left organized groups because of the high social cost of being known to affiliate with them. Many of those people apparently now belong to no group, but operate instead mainly on the Internet, where they can offer their opinions anonymously and easily find others who agree with them — and where they can be heard by huge numbers of people without the hassles, dues and poor leadership associated with membership in most groups. At the same time, those with violent criminal inclinations are increasingly opting to act as lone wolves or in very small cells, not connected to organized larger groups, which is another, smaller factor in the decline of these groups.

Specifically, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual count found that hate groups declined by 17% between 2013 and 2014, from 939 to 784 groups, bringing that number to its lowest level since 2005. Patriot groups, which are animated by a series of conspiracy theories about the alleged evils of the federal government, fell even faster, to 874 groups from a 2012 peak of 1,360 groups. In just the last year, the number of Patriot groups declined by 20%, from 1,096 groups to 874.

But those numbers may be somewhat deceiving. More than half of the decline in hate groups was of Ku Klux Klan chapters, and many of those have apparently gone underground, ending public communications, rather than disbanding.

In any event, as the movement to the Internet suggests, the importance of organized radical groups is declining for a number of reasons. In an age where ever more people are congregating on the Web and in social media, the radical right is doing the same. With almost no charismatic leaders on the scene, there is little to attract radicals to join groups when they can broadcast their opinions across the world via the Internet and at the same time remain anonymous if they wish. And an enormous sector of the extreme right — the “sovereign citizens” movement, made up of as many as 300,000 people who do not believe the federal government has any authority over them — is not organized into groups at all.

Violence and the Fear of Exposure

The latest decrease in radical-right domestic groups does not seem to have dampened the level of criminal extremism in America. A new Southern Poverty Law Center study of terrorism (see story, p. 25) suggests that political violence over the last six years has been about the same as during the 1990s. Not including the 168 victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the SPLC study finds that people were being killed by domestic terrorists at about the same average annual rate as in the 1990s. That is meaningful, because the 1990s are remembered as a time of great violence from militias, even without including the Oklahoma massacre.

The study also found that 90% of domestic terror attacks of all kinds (antigovernment, jihadist or related to other kinds of hatred) since 2009 were carried out by just one or two people. Of the 63 incidents examined during that period, just one — the 2011 murder of two people by a revolutionary Georgia antigovernment group called Forever Enduring, Always Ready (FEAR) — was actually planned and carried out by a named organization. The days when such attacks were planned in groups, which commonly happened during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, are largely over. Major conspiracies are just too easy to infiltrate and disrupt, and so terrorists are increasingly acting alone.

A large part of the reason for the decline of groups seems to be the fear of exposure of their members or those who otherwise associate with them, including in many cases politicians and other relatively prominent people. In recent years, the SPLC has repeatedly exposed people, sometimes people whose family members and colleagues had no idea of their activities, as neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the like. Many others have done the same, including a variety of anti-fascist groups, the Anonymous hacking collective, and a large number of media reporters.

And today, such exposure typically carries an enormous cost. A good example of that was the scandal created when a Louisiana blogger in December revealed that U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) had spoken in 2002 to a group headed by neo-Nazi and longtime Klan leader David Duke. The revelation was national news for days, and although it did not ultimately cost Scalise his job as the No. 3 man in the House leadership, it came fairly close. Ten to 15 years earlier, similar revelations about then-House Majority Leader Trent Lott and many other leading politicians led to some handwringing, but did not approach being a fatal blow to their careers.

The same phenomenon is seen in the fact that the Council of Conservative Citizens, the reincarnation of the White Citizens Councils that resisted desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s, no longer publishes the names of politicians who speak to its various chapters — something it did proudly for decades. Now, having one’s name printed in the council’s tabloid publication can be ruinous for politicians.

And last summer in Fruitland Park, Fla., the news that an FBI informer had fingered two men in the police department as having been involved with a Klan group resulted almost immediately in the resignation of one and the firing of the other. The incident quickly sparked a review by prosecutors of literally hundreds of cases handled by the two men for any evidence of racially biased policing.

Power of the Internet

The move to cyberspace is reflected in the large numbers of people joining Stormfront, the largest and most active radical-right Web forum in America, especially since Obama became the nation’s first black president in early 2009. That year, the site added 32,736 registered users, its largest numerical growth ever. In later years, the numbers of users steadily increased and today, the total of registered users is just shy of 300,000, a fairly astounding number for a site run by an ex-felon and former Alabama Klan leader. And that doesn’t include thousands of visitors who never register as users. At press time, Stormfront ranked as the Internet’s 13,648th most popular site, while the NAACP site, by comparison, ranked 32,640th.

Moreover, the action is not at all limited to Stormfront. Another major American forum, the neo-Nazi Vanguard News Network, is highly active as well, although it does not provide numbers of users. In addition, while Facebook has largely kicked haters off its network, large numbers of American extremists (along with those of many other nations) have migrated to VK, a huge Russian online social network that is much more welcoming to those with radical-right views. There, many extremists congregate anonymously in password-protected forums.

This kind of activity in cyberspace has expanded to other sites. That can be seen clearly in the propagation of often incredibly hateful forums on Reddit (see story, p. 14), which favors untrammeled free speech over the kind of rules that govern Facebook. And it’s not only on forums like VK and Reddit, which don’t bother to police hateful posts or comments. Increasingly, hateful views and propaganda appear regularly in newspaper and blog comment fields. There has been a conscious move on the part of U.S. extremists in recent years to propagate extreme-right memes, slogans and arguments on such mainstream sites.

Violent radicals are finding one another on the Internet as well. An example of that is Die Auserwählten, a small but incredibly violent skinhead crew that was started in 2013 by a Nebraska man. Members of the short-lived group — it collapsed in 2014 amid a raft of criminal charges — met each other in cyberspace.

Some analysts have suggested that posting extremist material actually lessens violence, serving as a kind of safety valve for people who might otherwise engage in terrorism or, at least, real-world movement-building activity. And there is probably some truth in that — most “keyboard commandos” don’t accomplish much.

But an SPLC study last year found that in the prior five years, registered users of Stormfront had murdered close to 100 people. In their cases, the forum seems to have helped cultivate their thirst for violence or at least nurtured and rationalized their ideological hatreds. Almost all of the killers had been posting regularly on Stormfront and other racist sites in the 18 months prior to picking up the gun, and many of them had posted thousands upon thousands of comments.

Even in the cyberworld, however, radical rightists are being scared off by their fear of arrest or exposure. While the number of registered users of Stormfront remains high, Alexa ratings show a dramatic falloff in general popularity — the number of all visitors to the site, not just registered users — last year. The fall in overall traffic of close to 60% followed the April 2014 murder of three people in Kansas, allegedly by a well-known neo-Nazi, and, days later, the publication of the SPLC report on Stormfront killers. It seems clear that much of the general public was driven away, at least temporarily, by the fear of government tracking.

The reason for such fears was partly illustrated this February, when a 28-year-old man was arrested in Montana just days after anonymously allegedly tweeting a series of threats to kill Jews and schoolchildren. The man was almost immediately tracked down after a reader pieced together several clues to his identity and notified authorities. The suspect was charged with two counts of felony intimidation.

But the decline has apparently been offset, and then some, by a rising number of extremists who post on other sites — sites that are not associated with criminal violence the way Stormfront is and therefore are not of high interest to law enforcement officials. That can be seen in the racist or anti-Semitic threads on media and similar sites, along with forums like Reddit, which now has a community of savagely anti-black sites known as “the Chimpire” and a variety of other hate-drenched “subreddits.”

Role of the ‘Mainstream’

Another strong sign of persistently high levels of extremism in America is the way that a wide variety of hard-right ideas, racial resentments and demonizing conspiracy theories have deeply penetrated the political mainstream, infecting politicians and pundits alike. That can been seen clearly in the role of right-wing media outlets like Fox News, which regularly propagate racially charged accusations, baseless conspiracy theories, and “facts” that are simply untrue.

A prime example of the public expression of racial resentment came from Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, who expressed the feeling of many whites when discussing Obama’s looming victory on Election Day 2012. “It’s a changing country,” he complained on Fox News that night. “The demographics are changing. It’s not a traditional America any more. And there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. They want things. … The white establishment is now the minority.”

Early this year, another reminder came from Steve Emerson, the Islamophobic founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and a self-described “internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security.” Emerson told Fox’s Jeanine Pirro that there are “places where the governments, like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany — they don’t exercise any sovereignty so you basically have zones where Shariah courts are set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where police don’t go in. … In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones. There are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

This baseless claim brought widespread ridicule. “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day,” said British Prime Minister David Cameron. “This guy’s clearly a complete idiot.” PolitiFact declared the claim a “Pants on Fire” falsehood. Even Emerson had to admit his “inexcusable error” in defaming “the beautiful city of Birmingham.”

The fact that such claims have also been adopted and promulgated by politicians can have another effect — taking the wind out of the sails of radical groups which are, in effect, co-opted. As the fortunes of the major political parties rise and fall, the situation of radical-right groups tend to change, too. When extremist ideas are held by some of those in power, the number and impact of radical-right groups tends to decrease.

That can be seen clearly in the recent history of “nativist extremist” groups — anti-immigrant outfits that go beyond merely advocating for lower levels of immigration and actively confront suspected undocumented workers. The number of such groups peaked in 2010, when there were 319 of them. But as state legislatures and politicians around the nation took up increasingly extreme anti-immigrant legislation, the energy of the nativist vigilante movement was stolen. Last year, the nativist groups bottomed out at just 19 organizations (see story, p. 40).

Today, radical antigovernment ideas are very much in evidence among hefty portions of the political class. In Nevada, for example, many politicians last spring loudly championed rancher Cliven Bundy, who called in armed militias to help him resist a federal effort to force him to pay $1 million in accrued grazing fees — at least until Bundy began to declaim on the problems of “the Negro.”

This can also be seen in the kind of Islamophobia pushed by Steve Emerson and many others. Last year, Alabama became the seventh state to ban Shariah religious law, following Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee — something that couldn’t happen anyway under the Constitution. Missouri passed a similar law, but it was vetoed; Oklahoma’s statute was thrown out by the courts. Altogether, 36 of the states have considered passing such laws.

Around the country, a number of county sheriffs have vowed to resist federal gun control laws and other lawful actions. In Texas, State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt introduced a law that would declare all federal gun control laws “invalid.” In Eddy County, N.M., Sheriff Scott London early this year wrote the IRS to say he would “not allow” the sale of a resident’s land to satisfy a tax judgment. A federal court had ordered the sale after the resident failed to file a timely notice of appeal.

And early this year, the Tenth Amendment Center, a radical group that strongly opposes federal power, exulted that more than 200 state bills had already been introduced in the current legislative session to block or curtail federal powers. The center describes these bills as “nullification” legislation, a reference to the legal doctrine adopted in the past by defenders of slavery and school segregation.

The Beat Goes On

The decline in radical groups does not seem to have been accompanied by a decline in violence from the right. Last year saw an array of attacks that reminded Americans that the jihadist threat is not the only kind of terrorism they face.

In March, federal agents arrested a man in Katy, Texas, who they said was plotting to rob banks and armored cars, kill police officers, and blow up government buildings and mosques. The next month, neo-Nazi Frazier Glenn Miller allegedly murdered three Kansans he wrongly thought were Jewish. In May, six people were slain in California by a 22-year-old woman-hater during a killing spree.

It continued from there. A neo-Nazi in Florida was charged with 10 counts of attempted murder after 50 rounds were fired at police outside his home. A Georgia man with antigovernment views was killed as he attempted to storm a courthouse. In June, a radical couple walked into a Las Vegas restaurant and murdered two police officers before killing another man and being killed themselves. Extremists in Utah, California and Pennsylvania allegedly attacked police or plotted to do so. And in Austin, Texas, a white supremacist opened fire on a federal courthouse, the Mexican consulate and police headquarters before being shot dead by a police officer.

The authorities have not reacted passively to all this. Large numbers of sovereign citizens, extremists who believe that most laws don’t apply to them, have been prosecuted and harshly punished. Two elderly men in Georgia last year were sentenced to 10 years in prison in an antigovernment conspiracy despite their lawyers’ claims that they were harmless old men jawboning. Bill White, a well-known neo-Nazi already serving lengthy sentences for making threats, was handed another 17? years for threatening officials involved in a Florida court case.

But that hasn’t stopped extremists who are not involved in criminal actions from issuing a drumbeat of scary warnings meant to terrify Americans. Steve Eichler, CEO of, claimed in November that Obama was about to impose martial law, and added that his group was “working ‘underground’ with top retired military generals and officers to strategize our takedown of the Obama regime.” Craig James, hosting a radio show for the anti-LGBT hate group Family Research Council, said he was concerned Obama would illegally seize a third term. And the Rev. Austin Miles, writing for the right-wing Renew America website, agreed, saying Obama was getting set “to declare himself President for Life.”

At the same time, radical ideas were widely held by members of the public. Last September, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found 24% of Americans strongly supported or tended to support their state’s secession from the union. A month later, another study, published in Social Science Research, found that the Tea Party movement was still “a powerful force,” and that it was “an outlet for mobilizing and expressing [anti-black] racial grievances.” And whites are increasingly leaving the Democratic Party, voting by a 62-38 margin for GOP House candidates in 2010 and 2014.

For years, the number of hate and antigovernment groups has served as the best available, if still imperfect, gauge of the strength of the American radical right. Today, as the movement grows more atomized, with more individuals acting outside of the context of organized groups, that may be a less accurate method. While the number of groups are declining — in part, perhaps, because hot social movements like the contemporary radical right tend to run out of steam after a few years — the level of extremism, and the danger of radical terror, seem just as high as ever.

Heidi Beirich, Michelle Bramblett, Anthony Griggs, Angela Freeman, Evelyn Schlatter and Janet Smith contributed to this report.

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Primer: Environmental Terrorism , etc.

Posted by Tespid on April 19, 2015

Latest News

Heard about the FBI Tracking of Keystone XL Activists? It’s Worse than You Thought.

The energy industry is now firmly hitched to the national security state.

This is a sneak peak from our forthcoming Spring edition. If you value dogged reporting like this, please become a subscriber today.

In August 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit distributed an intelligence bulletin to all field offices warning that environmental extremism would likely become an increasing threat to the energy industry. The eight-page document argued that, even though the industry had encountered only low-level vandalism and trespassing, recent “criminal incidents” suggested that environmental extremism was on the rise. The FBI concluded: “Environmental extremism will become a greater threat to the energy industry owing to our historical understanding that some environmental extremists have progressed from committing low-level crimes against targets to more significant crimes over time in an effort to further the environmental extremism cause.”

collage showing demonstrators, background a redacted report mentioning terrorist actsoriginal photo John Duffy

Not long after the bulletin was distributed, a private security firm providing intelligence reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security cited the FBI document in order to justify the surveillance of anti-fracking groups. The same security firm concluded that the “escalating conflict over natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania” could lead to an increase in “environmentalist activity or eco-terrorism.”

Since the 2010 FBI assessment was written, the specter of environmental extremism has been trotted out by both law enforcement and energy-industry security teams to describe a wide variety of grassroots groups opposed to the continued extraction of fossil fuels. In 2011, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP ) published a report titled, “Environmental Criminal Extremism and Canada’s Energy Sector.” The RCMP warned that environmental extremism posed a “clear and present criminal threat” to the energy industry. While both the FBI and RCMP reports make an effort to distinguish between lawful protest and criminal activity, they often conflate the two – in the RCMP report the terms “violence” and “direct action” are used interchangeably – and suggest opposition to the energy industry will lead to extremism. (The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division declined to answer questions about the 2010 bulletin.)

Yet even as the resistance to “extreme energy projects” has grown in size and scope, there is little evidence to support the breathless warnings about “eco-terrorism.” There has been no upward spiral in criminality among environmental activists. To the contrary, arson, property destruction, and other acts of violence most closely associated with the radical animal rights movement of the 1980s and 1990s have become all but nonexistent. According to figures compiled by the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) at the University of Maryland, there has been only a handful of incidents defined as eco-terrorism since 2010. In fact, between 2010 and 2013, the latest year for which the GTD has published figures, out of a total of 54 terror incidents in the United States, five were attributed to the Animal Liberation Front. The last recorded incident carried out by the Earth Liberation Front – the bulldozing of two radio transmission towers in Washington – was in 2009. Earth First! hasn’t appeared in the database since 1994.

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From the RCMP report

Instead, environmentalists have largely relied on classic social change strategies such as choreographed nonviolent civil disobedience, carefully planned protests, and divestment from the fossil fuel industry. “Overall we’ve seen a decline in activity, in terms of violent criminal activity” among environmentalists, an FBI intelligence analyst told The Washington Post in 2012.

Nevertheless, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and many state law enforcement agencies continue to promote the idea that environmental extremism is on the rise. The oil and gas industry is spending more on security than it ever has. According to a 2013 report by Frost & Sullivan, a marketing research and consulting company, annual spending on global oil and gas infrastructure security is expected to top $30 billion in just a few years. (In comparison, $30 billion is roughly what South Korea spends on defense annually.) “Surveillance will continue to dominate the oil and gas infrastructure security market,” a summary of the report states.

At the same time, numerous intelligence-sharing networks between the private sector and law enforcement have been established at every level of government, giving rise to an unprecedented energy-intelligence complex. They range from project-specific and regional networks like the Nebraska Information Analysis Center’s Keystone Pipeline Portal community and the Marcellus Shale Operators’ Crime Committee, to federal programs like the FBI’s Oil and Natural Gas Crime Issues Special Interest Group and the Department of Homeland Security’s Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council. These public-private partnerships, coupled with a revolving door between intelligence agencies and the more lucrative energy industry, have created a new kind of foe for the environmental movement. The fossil fuel industry is now an economic behemoth firmly hitched to the national security state.

It is true that environmentalists pose a threat to the energy industry – just not in the way the FBI or RCMP believe. The threat to the industry is existential and economic, not extremist. If the movement to end our reliance on fossil fuels prevails, the oil and gas industry will lose trillions of dollars in forecast profits. According to an estimate by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, if we hope to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, the energy sector would have to leave more than $20 trillion worth of fossil fuels in the ground. “The oil and gas industry is doing everything they can to ensure they’re in business for the next 30 to 50 years and doing so at a time when we should be, as a nation, collectively figuring out how to stop using those same fossil fuels over the next ten years,” says Wes Gillingham, program director of Catskill Mountainkeeper.

Conflict between fossil fuel interests and environmentalists is inevitable. But as the contest becomes ever more stark, there seems to be little effort to distinguish between lawful political activism and illegal activities. The fossil fuel industry’s reasonable concerns about the strength of its political opponents have morphed into a kind of paranoia, one that threatens to criminalize constitutionally protected dissent.

In the years since the FBI and RCMP reports, unconventional oil and gas development has been met with sustained protest, from small scale tree sits and encampments to massive nationwide demonstrations. The opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline is only the most high-profile example of resistance to the fossil fuel industry. The term “Blockadia” has been used to describe the loose network of citizens seeking to disrupt the continued exploitation of fossil fuels. Tactics vary depending on the region and political backdrop, but the emphasis has been on nonviolent civil disobedience, legal action, and ballot measures to hamper pipeline projects, ban fracking, and prevent or slow down tar sands extraction. A handful of pipeline projects ­– including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and Williams Companies’ Constitution pipelines – have been stymied. In mid-December, after several years of intense organizing, lobbying, and direct action campaigns, New York became the first state with substantial shale gas reserves to ban fracking. Towns in Colorado, Texas, and Ohio have passed restrictions that limit oil and gas drilling.

Such successes have emboldened these groups and inspired action elsewhere. (Of course it should be noted that oil and gas development has hardly been halted; it continues apace throughout North America.) Rather than lead to an increase in criminal activity, as the FBI predicted, opposition to the oil and gas industry has, in some ways, become more mainstream. “Five years ago you would have never seen the faces of rural farmers and ranchers and tribal leaders on the front lines of climate actions,” says Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, an environmental group opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. “This unlikely Cowboy and Indian Alliance that is also working shoulder to shoulder with big green groups is changing the way America looks at the issue of land, water, and climate change.”

But the new face of the environmental movement seems not to have registered with an industry intent on steamrolling its critics. In 2011, in comments that have been widely cited, a spokesman for Anadarko Petroleum described the anti-fracking movement as an “insurgency” and suggested that industry insiders download the US Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Manual as a guide to dealing with it. Less well known is the fact that Anadarko has built up a team of former intelligence operatives to combat what it views as an insurrection. The company’s southwest regional security manager was an officer with the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he was involved in undercover work. Another Anadarko security manager, LC Wilson, was regional commander of the Texas Department of Public Safety from 2009 to 2011 and oversaw law enforcement statewide. Anadarko has also been involved in the creation of at least two Oilfield Crime Committees, one in Texas and one in Pennsylvania, both of which are headed by former law enforcement officials. The South Texas Oilfield Crime Committee and the Marcellus Shale Operators’ Crime Committee have gathered intelligence on environmental activists and routinely exchange information with law enforcement.

Anadarko is not alone. Most large energy companies have security teams run by former FBI, Secret Service, or law enforcement personnel. The director of corporate security at Devon Energy, for example, was a special agent with the Secret Service for 14 years. Chevron’s chief security officer was the former head of the Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service. And BP’s head of Government and Political Affairs from 2007 to 2012 worked for MI6, Britain’s top spy agency.

In most cases these security teams have been deployed to manage crises overseas. In Indonesia, for example, ExxonMobil ran its own intelligence operations and consulted regularly with the country’s military leaders as it sought to protect its assets amid destabilizing political conditions. In 2012 The Guardian reported that Shell Oil maintained a 1,200-person police force plus a network of undercover informants in Nigeria and spent tens of millions of dollars on security in the region.

artwork depicting shouting young people, official documents in the backgroundoriginal photo Stephen Melkisethian

As shale oil and gas development has expanded in North America, the frontlines of the energy wars are no longer overseas, but rather in places like Nebraska, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Range Resources, one of the largest drillers in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, has admitted to hiring veterans of the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with experience in psychological warfare – or Psyops – to engage with local communities.

Neither Anadarko nor ExxonMobil nor Range Resources responded to requests for comment.

Even as the energy industry has beefed up its own in-house intelligence operations, it has established increasingly close ties with law enforcement agencies. This is partly a result of the post-9/11 national security state and the premium placed on information sharing. The Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC), established by the Department of Homeland Security in 2006, holds quarterly meetings to facilitate information sharing between the private sector and government agencies. (Meetings are exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which means there is no public oversight. Indeed, the Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002 stipulates that information voluntarily submitted by industry to the DHS or DOE is protected from public disclosure.) Within CIPAC there is an Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council and an Energy Government Coordinating Council. According to minutes from an August 2013 CIPAC meeting, the DHS has been working to provide more security clearances to the energy industry. “Currently DHS is working to enhance policies to share more classified information both cyber and non-cyber related,” the document states. Anadarko, Kinder Morgan, ExxonMobil, and the American Petroleum Institute are frequent participants and sponsors of CIPAC meetings.

In addition to CIPAC there is a Homeland Security Information Sharing Network for the Oil and Gas Industry (HSIN-ONG), a web-based platform that allows companies to communicate with each other and with law enforcement. It also gives them access to Suspicious Activity Reports and other intelligence related information. Around the same time that the information-sharing network was being created, the Department of Justice launched its National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative to “improve the sharing of suspicious activity reports among state, local, tribal, and federal law-enforcement organizations, as well as private sector entities.”

Intelligence-sharing systems also have been developed at the state level. The Nebraska Information Analysis Center (one of more than 70 Homeland Security “fusion centers”) has its own network that focuses on “possible unlawful tactics and techniques of individuals/groups opposed to Keystone XL pipeline.” According to documents obtained by Earth Island Journal through a public records request, oil infrastructure company TransCanada has its own page in the HSIN portal where suspicious activity reports can be posted. TransCanada representatives, FBI agents, county attorneys, local sheriffs, and the US assistant attorney general all have access to the Keystone pipeline network.

Despite the numerous federal, state, and regional information-sharing networks established during the past decade, the industry has been reluctant to participate in programs that might be subject to public oversight. Thus last summer the oil and gas industry announced the creation of its own information sharing and analysis center, or ISAC, which allows member companies to submit intelligence anonymously and is exempt from public disclosure.

The industry’s fear of transparency is part of a larger pattern. Oil and gas firms often express alarm about having their facilities photographed or filmed by citizen watchdogs, which can lead to official investigations. For example, in 2011 the Rocky Mountain Energy Security Group (yet another regional intelligence sharing network) issued a security report that described activists in Pavillion, Wyoming who had photographed a natural gas processing facility. The report, which was disseminated to law enforcement and security professionals in the industry, defined the behavior as “suspicious activity” and said that the information was being circulated in order to determine “whether the activity has any underlying criminal or terrorism nexus (or intent).”

In recent years the FBI has pursued environmental activists in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho for little more than taking photographs of oil and gas industry installations. In 2011, after receiving an anonymous tip, the FBI went after Texas activist Ben Kessler, a member of the direct action environmental group Rising Tide North America. In November 2013 and February 2014, a Pennsylvania state trooper and member of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force visited anti-fracking activists at their homes in New York and Pennsylvania under the pretext that they had trespassed while taking photos of a gas compressor station. More recently, members of Rising Tide in the Pacific Northwest have been contacted or visited by FBI agents. (The energy companies’ fear of transparency is in some ways similar to the livestock industry’s exposé anxiety, which has led to the passage of so-called ag-gag laws that prohibit the filming of farms and ranches.)

The frontlines of the energy wars are no longer overseas, but rather in places like Nebraska, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

But what happens when the private sector’s assumptions about criminal activity are wrong or misleading? In Pennsylvania the oil and gas industry has driven speculation that environmental organizations were behind several acts of vandalism at or near drilling sites, even though there’s no evidence of any link whatsoever. The unfounded assertion has spilled into the local press. In February 2014, The Williamsport Sun-Gazette in northeast Pennsylvania ran a story about the crimes headlined, “Ecoterror Target: Gas companies bolster security in response to threats.”

Jeff Monaghan, a PhD candidate in Sociology at Queen’s University in Ontario who writes on issues of surveillance, says the RCMP document reflects how deeply intertwined the suspicions of energy companies and intelligence agencies have become. “The broader context of this document is a very, very close working relationship between the Critical Infrastructure Protection team and the energy corporations. As the relationship develops the underlying belief is that environmentalists are first-and-foremost a threat to the economy. It’s really about protecting shared values of economic growth.”

Or, as the RCMP report put it, “Canada’s economic growth … and the objectives of environmentalists are in direct conflict.” Environmental activists wouldn’t disagree with that, especially given the aggressive pro-energy policies of the Harper government. What they take issue with is the highly provocative claim that their opposition to the energy industry will likely lead to criminal activity. As the interests of the state and energy sector become increasingly close, however, this perception is taking hold. Activists worry that it is shaping law enforcement’s approach to the movement and could lead to a crackdown on legal protest.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the industry is trying really hard to paint the environmental movement as fringe or dangerous, because it’s their last resort,” says Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Gillingham. “It’s behavior based on a losing argument.”

The conflict over the Keystone XL pipeline has reinforced the narrative that economic prosperity and environmental protection are mutually exclusive. Pipeline proponents like to paint the opposition as job killers and, yes, extremists. In April 2014, Allison Moore, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, described the pipeline as “a project that is being blocked purely by environmental extremism.” More recently, US Senator Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican, called anti-fracking activists campaigning for a moratorium “radical environmentalists.” A major Washington PR firm, Berman and Co., has launched an ad campaign bankrolled by the energy industry called “Big Green Radicals” that seeks to smear high-profile activists.

thumbnail of a document, FBI Bulletin
From the FBI Bulletin

But the demonization of environmental advocates goes far beyond mere polemics. TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, has worked closely with law enforcement along the proposed pipeline route from the very early stages of its development. A certain amount of collaboration with law enforcement is to be expected with any major infrastructure project. But TransCanada has gone further. The company has pressured attorneys general to prosecute environmental activists under terrorism statutes. It has given local law enforcement advance notice of meetings with landowners whom the company describes as hostile. And the company has held workshops with local law enforcement and the FBI, including a daylong “strategy meeting” in Oklahoma with the FBI in 2012.

According to documents obtained by Earth Island Journal, the FBI distributed a bulletin in early 2013 “regarding threat concerns by environmental extremists against the Keystone Pipeline expansion project” to law enforcement across Nebraska. In its strategic plan for 2014-2017, South Dakota Homeland Security identifies what it considers to be extremist enclaves in the state, through which Keystone is proposed to pass. According to the document, “Uranium mining in the southwest part of the state and a proposed oil pipeline in the western part of the state garnered the attention of extremist environmental groups.” The report does not describe or name the groups, their intentions, or tactics. A public records request for additional documents or communication regarding “extremist environmental groups” in South Dakota was denied.

In 2013 Earth Island Journal reported on the infiltration of a Tar Sands Resistance training camp in Oklahoma. Two undercover officers from the Bryan County Sheriff’s office attended the weeklong event and shared intelligence with the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security Fusion Center. Law enforcement was tipped off and a planned act of civil disobedience was preempted. During that same week TransCanada’s corporate security advisor was in frequent contact with the Oklahoma Fusion Center and made comments on a classified situational awareness bulletin.

In many ways Texas, where the Keystone pipeilne would terminate, is the heart of the American oil and gas industry. Not surprisingly, activists there are routinely harassed by law enforcement and corporate security for nothing more than keeping tabs on the industry. In East Houston, the city’s industrial hub and most polluted neighborhood (Houston itself is one of the most polluted cities in the country), environmental activist and community organizer Bryan Parras has been questioned by the police on several occasions and once was contacted by a Coast Guard special agent assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Houston. The organization he helps run with his father, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (or TEJAS), has been closely watched. Parras frequently takes activists and journalists on what he calls “toxic tours” – a survey of the neighborhood’s refineries, chemical plants, and shipping ports. He’s made a point of documenting the air pollution caused by the flaring at the refineries that flank the neighborhood. He says the images “compel people to action.”

“It doesn’t surprise me that the industry is trying to paint the environmental movement as fringe or dangerous.”

They’ve also made Parras a subject of interest for industry and law enforcement. He is routinely questioned by the police or harassed by security representatives from Valero Energy, a major refining company and one of the industries Parras monitors. In 2013 Parras got a text from a friend, Tish Stringer, saying that an agent had visited her home and wanted to know about her relationship with him. The Coast Guard special agent, David Pileggi, told Stringer he’d been tipped off by Valero.

“It’s nothing new,” Parras says. “Since 9/11 we’ve been harassed repeatedly and pulled over for taking pictures or video of the facilities.”

In an emailed statement, Bill Day, vice president of communications at Valero, said the Houston refinery is designated by Homeland Security as “critical infrastructure” and therefore must meet enhanced security requirements. “One of those requirements,” he wrote, “is that when we see people taking photos or video of our facilities, we ascertain the purpose of that activity and then report it to DHS.” According to Shauna Dunlap, media coordinator for the FBI’s Houston Division, photographing and videotaping of critical infrastructures “can be a precursor of potential criminal activity.” The Joint Terrorism Task Force, she says, is “obligated to look into each and every suspicious activity report.”

This kind of surveillance and intimidation, Parras says, is particularly chilling in an area with a large number of undocumented residents. Not only are they vulnerable to threats of deportation, but also they’re quite literally at the crossroads of environmental destruction and the risks associated with climate change. East Houston is home to a disproportionate number of the city’s largest sources of industrial pollution, four major highways, and the shipping channel that feeds into the Port of Houston. If built, the Keystone XL pipeline would terminate in East Houston; Valero has a contract with TransCanada to receive most of the oil. “On the basis of location alone these neighborhoods appear far more vulnerable to health risks than others in Greater Houston,” a 2006 study commissioned by the mayor’s office concluded. In addition, rising sea levels threaten to inundate the heavily industrialized shoreline. “It puts us at even higher risk because we’re on the coast,” says Parras. “All these facilities are right on the water.”

image of a costumed demonstrator being led away by a uniformed police person, documents in the backgroundoriginal photo Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN)

In many ways, for activists like Parras the last line of defense lies in taking photos, documenting the impacts of industrial pollution, and simply bearing witness. TEJAS hasn’t even engaged in civil disobedience or direct action, he says. Still, his organization is on Valero’s watch list. TEJAS organizers have been followed and photographed or videoed by Valero security personnel. Local teachers who joined Parras on one of his toxic tours were bullied into deleting photos and video they had taken of the refinery. Journalists he has shown around have been threatened by Valero that they’ll be reported to the FBI.

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In the eyes of the oil and gas industry this is the new environmental extremism. And that view is being shared with law enforcement at every level.

The intimidation and surveillance have had an impact. Parras says his advocacy has been compromised by Valero’s scrutiny of his organization and the refinery’s close relationship with law enforcement. “It’s difficult to get neighbors to want to engage and speak out,” he says.

Adam Federman, a Journal contributing editor, covers the intersection between law enforcement and the environment.

Posted in Primer Series | Tagged: | Comments Off on Primer: Environmental Terrorism , etc.


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